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Matoi the Sacred Slayer Complete Collection Anime DVD Review

6 min read

What if the Fate of the World Depended on Someone Who Didn’t Want the Job?

What They Say
Matoi Sumeragi’s mother disappeared 10 years ago, she’s just moved in with her Police officer father, and all she wants is to lead a quiet, normal life. Unfortunately, fate has other plans, and when Matoi’s friend Yuma’s family shrine is attacked, Yuma’s attempts to invoke an old spell goes wrong, transforming Matoi into a super-powered Exorcist! Suddenly Matoi’s in the middle of the battle between good and evil, dealing with secret agencies, keeping her father from finding out about her double life and, worst of all, coping with the fact that when the power in her God Cloak runs out, it leaves her naked, no matter where she is! This is so not cool! She didn’t want the job, but now she’s stuck with it and life is about to get far, far too exciting for MATOI THE SACRED SLAYER!

The Review!
Audio:
The audio quality isn’t terrible in Matoi. There are some issues with the sounds being a bit muddled. Fortunately, the talking doesn’t get mixed too badly with the other sounds. The major issue is definitely with the sound effects. While I understand that it’s important for explosions to sound loud, it gets annoying when many of the effects are so loud I have to turn the volume down, but then turn it back up during dialogue heavy scenes.

Video:
The video is 480i / 16×9 Anamorphic, so it’s not gonna be high-definition no matter how much people might wish otherwise. I think what bothered me the most was how the subtitles looked super crisp, while the lineart looked pixelated. Outside of that, I didn’t have too many issues. The quality just wasn’t amazing.

Packaging:
Pink on the top and purple and white on the bottom, Matoi the Sacred Slayer features the three main female characters on the front cover. Claurus, the blonde beauty in black, Matoi the pink-haired cutie in pink, and Yuma, the spunky chick in white and red. The background feels like it’s folding in around these three. There’s some strange distortions, which actually feel symbolic of the series itself. The back features a pink background with a white cutout over the top. Inside the cutout are screenshots and the blurb. Matoi is also on the right side of the back.

Menu:
Disc one has Matoi has the main character, while disc two as Claurus, and disc three features Yuma. Each disc allows you to select from the number of episodes you want, plus whatever special features they have. Disc three also has an OVA episode.

Extras:
The special features on this are a bit more extensive than some. It has the clean opening and closing animation, plus Japanese commercials, Japanese promos, and the bonus episode.

Content: (Please note that this portion of the review may contain spoilers):
Matoi the Sacred Slayer has a very slow start. It begins with a battle between a blonde beauty and some kind of monster. We’re not given any knowledge of what, exactly, this monster is, but the girl fights, defeats, and forces the monster to retreat. The next thing we’re seeing is Matoi and her friend Yuma working at Yuma’s family’s shrine, which apparently has become really popular thanks to some romance scheme made by Yuma’s father. We’re introduced to several characters during this first episode aside from Matoi and Yuma, including Lucielia, a big-breasted woman who doesn’t look at all Japanese. I think she might be French, but they never really say. She travels to Yuma’s family’s shrine to see if there are any magical relics there, but she leaves upon discovering that the relic has no magical properties.

We soon learn that Lucelia works for some group called IATO, which is a foreign investigations unit that deals with supernatural phenomena. Several cases have cropped up that can’t be explained. Matoi’s father is constantly being called in for work—he’s a police officer—to try and deal with this threat. It’s gotten to the point where the Japanese police requested a specialist, and this was who they sent.

I really like how episode one immediately establishes the dynamic relationships between many of the characters. Of course, the main relationship right now is the one between Matoi and Yuma. You can tell they’re best friends. Yuma is the funny man and Matoi is definitely the straight man who always tries to keep her friend from doing things that are too crazy. Of course, we also establish some of the relationships surrounding Matoi’s father, including the relationship that he has with Matoi. There’s a strong sense that their relationship is very impersonal. Not only does Matoi not call him “father,” but she calls him by name. Shingo-kun. You immediately get the sense that the two of them aren’t really used to each other. We later learn that Matoi had been living with her grandparents for the longest time and just moved in with her father a little while ago.

Episode one ends when Yuma’s family shrine is attacked by the person who was responsible for a series of kidnappings. He was actually the guy that Shingo and Lucelia were after. At the end of the episode, Matoi somehow becomes a magical girl, though I’m not exactly sure how. Either way, the result is that she accidentally defeats the kidnapper, who has some mysterious power. I’m actually impressed how they went about doing this. Even more impressive is how after changing back into a regular person, Matoi’s clothes have mysteriously vanished. This actually becomes a running gag throughout the series.

Part of what makes this anime fun to watch is the slow start. It builds up the characters, the dynamic between them, and allows you to become attached before throwing them over the deep end. Of course, while the first half of the series is slow, the second half sets off at a blistering pace, throwing in plot twists and strange reveals. We learn that people who attacked Matoi are humans being possessed by monsters called Nights, which is the same type of monster that the blond girl, Claurus, fought at the beginning. Nights are creatures from beyond our dimension. According to the anime, there are 24 dimensions. We’re in the third, which means there are 21 dimensions that are higher than our own.

No one knows why Nights attack our dimension, but the only way to battle the Nights is to possess a Regalia, which comes from having a Divine Union. Basically, a God makes a contract or bonds with you, and you gain the Regalia, which is like a magical girl armor. They’re called Exorcist Girls in Matoi, but it all amounts to the same thing.

As more and more plot twists pile on, the story gets very feely, especially toward the end. I actually cried a bit when I finally reached the ending of this series. While it’s short, this was a very nice and concise example of a good magical girl show. They manage to keep everything neat and tidy, and the ending itself was very satisfying, which is more than I can say for a lot of anime that have come out recently.

In Summary:
I really enjoyed this series, partly because it’s such a classic example of the “magical girl” genre, but also because it’s one of the few 13 episode anime that has a beginning, middle, and end. Matoi the Sacred Slayer is short, but it gives a good story, develops likable characters, and has a solid conclusion that didn’t leave me dissatisfied after watching it.

Content Grade: A
Audio Grade: B
Video Grade: A
Packaging Grade: A
Menu Grade: B
Extras Grade: B

Released By: Sentai Filmworks
Release Date: September 19, 2017
MSRP: $59.98
Running Time: 325 minutes
Video Encoding: 480i
Aspect Ratio: 16×9 Anamorphic

Review Equipment:
55″ Class AQUOS HD Series LED TV LC-55LE643U, Xbox 360 DVD player


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